A new addition for the Faithful…. The CCO is pleased to announce the addition of another view to the site. Thomas Edgar writes for his own blog, www.cubsfanhell.com, and will add his perspective about the Cubs Farm System on a weekly basis for Chicago Cubs Online. I encourage everyone to check out his site….
With the recent selections of Ryan Howard and Justin Morneau as their respective leagues MVP’s it got me to thinking. Where is all the Cubs talent that was supposed to be coming from our loaded farm system? Morneau was drafted in 1999 and Howard in 2001 so we certainly have someone that was drafted about that time that should be ready for big league greatness? Well I went back and looked at the 1999 and 2001 drafts to see who the Cubs picked before Morneau was picked in the 3rd round in 1999 and Howard was picked in the 5th round in 2001.
– 1st round – Ben Christensen, RHP
– 2nd round – Michael Mallory, CF
– 1st round – Mark Prior, RHP
– 2nd round – Andy Sisco, LHP
– 3rd round – Ryan Theriot, SS
– 4th round – Ricky Nolasco, RHP
– 5th round – Brendan Harris, 2B
As you can see, the 1999 draft choices before Morneau haven’t amounted to any big league payoff. When you look at 2001 however you see an amazing string of picks for the Cubs. Obviously Prior was the talk of the 2001 draft but all five players have put in some Major League time. Granted, only two of the five players are still with the Cubs but the draft based on those first five picks could be seen as a positive. If only we had chosen Ryan Howard instead of Brendan Harris. Howard was selected two picks after Harris by the Phillies. Another interesting note, we may have lost three of our top five draft picks from the 2001 draft but we gained another back in a recent trade as Neal Cotts was selected in the 2nd round of the 2001 draft by Oakland.
Felix Pie, pronounced Pee-ay, provides the Cubs with the next hope of a star position player coming out of their farm system. I believe Cubs fans have cautious optimism about his arrival in Chicago because we heard a lot of the same talk about Corey Patterson. In Pie’s defense, he is only 21 years old and still needs time to progress. The Cubs seem intent on providing an option for centerfield but giving Pie the chance to win it.
If he plays with the big club in 2007 he will need to impress during Spring Training. If he doesn’t make the club out of Spring Training then he will likely spend the season at Triple-A Iowa and arrive in the fall to the big club and could be there for his first full season in 2008. During the 2006 season at Iowa, Pie batted .283 with 15 HR’s, 57 RBI’s and 17 SB’s. If Felix lives up to the hype we could have two of the best 5-tool players in the league. Things are definitely looking up for the Chicago Cubs and, more importantly, for all the Chicago Cubs Faithful.